Project 42k: I challenge you to run your first marathon!5 min read

Project 42K Actionable Reading Blog

My First Marathon

Since I was young I’ve always wanted to run a marathon. It was one of the items on a bucket list I created over 5 years ago and in early 2024 that goal will get scratched off. This is the first major personal project I’ve committed to and what better way than to document it on this blog to help me stay on track and share my inevitable highs and lows. In this respect I’m going to be creating a weekly blog post on what I’m dubbing ‘Project 42k’. I’m going to be sharing my training plan, progress updates, and pieces on running form, equipment and much more. Hopefully this will help you on your own fitness journeys and maybe inspire you to undertake your own challenging project.

General Housekeeping

What is a marathon?

Just so everyone is on the same page a marathon is a running race which covers 42.195km (26.22 miles). It has been an Olympic event since the first modern Olympic Games in Athens 1896 however the distance was only standardised at 42.195km from 1924 onwards.

Who can run a marathon?

Anyone! Back when Homo sapiens first emerged they took up persistence hunting which is running after and tracking an animal until it dies of exhaustion. These hunts usually lasted 2-5 hours which by chance is the same time for a marathon to be completed. This demonstrates how our bodies are designed to run this distance. Obviously with our modern sedentary lifestyle we are not as acclimatised to this level of fitness which is why proper training and dedication is required. 

Why run a marathon?

Obviously we don’t need to run this distance to catch dinner anymore so why would you run a marathon? Simply put it’s a challenge. Not only does the achievement show off your endurance and fitness but it also shows your determination and commitment. Approximately 1.1 million people complete a marathon every year that’s about 0.01% of the global population. I don’t know about you but I’d rather be in the 0.01%.

What's the average time for running a marathon?

Now you might be wondering how long does it actually take to run 42km? The average time for men is 4:21:03 whilst for women its 4:48:45. This pales in comparison to the official world record which is held by Eliud Kipchoge at an insane 2:01:09. Obviously, the first goal is to complete the distance, irrelevant of the time, however the first major milestone for this distance is breaking the 4 hour time barrier.

My Goals

For this project my main and highest priority goal is to complete the distance preferably without stopping and still in one piece! That being said I have set other sub-goals for my training to keep it interesting and get me as fit as possible by the end of this project. 

Run a sub 4 hour marathon.
Complete a half marathon.
Complete these distances in barefoot shoes (Vivobarefoot).
Create my own training plan and train like an athlete.
Introduce nasal breathing into my fitness.
"Bullet-proof" my body to avoid injury.
Enjoy the journey!

These are personal goals to me and I’ll be talking through these goals more over the coming weeks. By pushing myself to complete these sub goals throughout my training it will increase the success of my primary goal. I should become much fitter person but also cultivate determination and confidence in my own abilities which will help me long after I’ve crossed the finish line.

In next weeks post I will be discussing the personal training plan I have developed and the current timeline for the event. If you’re currently on your own running journey whether that be your first parkrun 5k to an ultramarathon I’d love to hear from you! Let me know about your running goals down below!

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